Wine of the Week 14: Kleine Zalze Cap Classique Brut Rosé NV

Kleine Zalze Cap Classique Rose

A traditional, fun and flirtatious bubbly for any occasion.

Stellenbosch winery Kleine Zalze has a long history of award-winning, beautifully structured cap classiques. Traditional in style but fresh and fun is how cellarmaster RJ Botha describes the two non-vintage MCCs in their range, which are designed to be approachable, appealing and brought out on every occasion that calls for some celebratory sparkle.

Sparkling dynamics

Kleine Zalze Cap Classique Rose Vineyard

The pinot noir and chardonnay grapes for the Cap Classique Brut Rosé come from both Stellenbosch and Robertson vineyards. “Each region just brings in a different dynamic and angle to the blend,” says RJ. There’s beautiful fruit expression in the chardonnay from the limestone rich soils of Robertson, and fresh acidity in the pinot noir from cooler sites in the False Bay area. For this vintage, cold October and November weather led to smaller berry sizes in the pinot noir with loose bunches and better fruit concentration.

The fruit is hand-picked in the cool of the early morning. “What we’re looking for is a specific ripeness,” says RJ. “With sparkling wines we pick earlier than normal, to have a lower alcohol and a higher acidity, but we want to harvest, particularly the pinot noir, when it’s coloured nicely with a nice fruit component that we can bring into the wine. The same for the chardonnay, it’s important you don’t pick too early, so there’s not any harsh green flavour in the wine.”

The whole bunches are pressed, then only the free-run juice is used. Each parcel of each varietal is vinified separately in stainless steel tanks, then the wine is fermented and matured for 18 months on the lees in the bottle. “In essence to make a sparkling wine, we produce it as neutral as possible at the beginning,” says RJ. “Most of the flavour comes from the yeast and fermentation processes in the bottle at a later stage.”

Kleine Zalze Cap Classique Brut Rosé NV

Kleine Zalze Cap Classique Rose Brut

In the official winemaker’s notes RJ describes the Cap Classique Brut Rosé as a traditional, yet fun and flirtatious MCC with flair, that delights the palate as much as they eye. “It’s a wine that should be part of everyday life, a very appealing and inviting wine style,” he says. “Rather than the dry biscotti flavours of a serious vintage cap classique, it’s on the fresh side, a little bit more fruit and that red berry spectrum, of strawberries etc.”

Kleine Zalze Cap Classique Rose Tasting

Elegant layers of finesse and a delicate silver-pink hue with a lively cascading sparkle give this wine a celebratory air, but don’t save it just for high days and holidays.

“It’s a wine for any occasion,” says RJ. “We’ve been enjoying it often with dessert recently, it’s a lot of fun to end your lunch or dinner with a sparkling wine. The rosé works perfectly with wonderful summertime desserts that are fruit-based or chilled, I’m thinking of pavlova with berries…”

Discover all of the Cape’s hidden gems – subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 16 August 2023